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  • Writer's pictureVickie Turley

Changing my thinking about “perfect Holidays”

We had our Thanksgiving today so we could have all the grandkids together. And wow, this day blew me away!

Gingerbread house
First Gingerbread house with grandson and me

For many years, I was either too sick to have a dinner here or it came from restaurants - as I didn't have the energy to cook. After my surgery in 2019, I was so excited to create new memories at the holidays and I started having family here at home. And it was good - but not great. Why?

I have never been a person who was confident with my cooking skills. And worse. I felt I had to do it all! I had to make the "main" dishes! I had to do everything to get ready. If anyone came early and asked to help, I turned them down.

All of those feelings and reactions are from many years of conditioning myself that I was not a hostess, I was not a cook, I was not ____________. So I would try to "do it all" to prove that my thoughts were right - I was not good enough. These years were so stressful! I would push so hard that by the time I sat down to eat, I was a mess! I was exhausted, I was mad, and I was missing making any memories.

Two years ago, I realized (and was told by many) how much I was missing and how stressed I was making not just myself, but my family! And I determined to change. God had given me a miracle by healing me and I was making our holiday get-togethers a nightmare! What was I thinking?

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2‬a NLT‬‬

So here's what I've learned, nothing is ever going to be perfect. God does not expect us to be perfect, others don't expect perfection. I may burn the rolls, I may forget to turn on the oven, we may run late getting the turkey ready, but no one cares! We are all together and we are thankful.

I started making a "menu" and asked what everyone wanted to make and bring. I let them do it. When people showed up early, I put them to work! And I told my family that if they had friends who would be alone during this time, invite them! And they did!

Today, we had 21 people here and it was beautiful! Ages covered from 7 years old to 100 years old! We had family, we had blended family, we had friends of kids and grandkids. We made new relationships and created wonderful memories.

My heart is overflowing with gratefulness. I am so thankful to God for helping me to continue to see light! I am still going to stress, and I may not always let people help as much as they want, but I am being fully present with my family and friends. I will continue to open my home and I will continue to live in the moment and make as many memories as possible.

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